News / USA

Manning Testifies in Wikileaks Pre-Trial Hearing

Manning Testifies in Wikileaks Pre-Trial Hearing
Manning Testifies in Wikileaks Pre-Trial Hearing
Luis Ramirez
U.S. Army private and Iraq War veteran Bradley Manning has testified at a pre-trial hearing, making his first public comments since he was arrested for allegedly leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the Wikileaks website in what some say is the largest leak of secret military information in U.S. history.

To Bradley Manning’s supporters,  gathered on a cold rainy day outside the base where the hearings were under way,  he is a hero.

To U.S. military prosecutors, Manning is a traitor who leaked hundreds of thousands of secret documents and aided the enemy. A conviction could mean a life sentence for the 24-year-old former intelligence analyst.  

Manning is trying to avoid going to trial and has offered to plead guilty to leaking documents to Wikileaks.  

Website founder Julian Assange spoke this week about the Manning case, saying it is the U.S. military that is on trial. 

Manning's lawyers argue he has been abused while in custody. In testimony Thursday, he said that after his arrest he was held in a tiny cell. He described it as a cage where he thought he would die.

Analysts say the argument has boosted public sympathy for Manning and has taken some of the focus away from damage that the leaks may have caused.  

Defense analyst Lawrence Korb says it also has raised an ethical dilemma.

“We’ve never had a thing like this where all the confidential cables have gotten out," Korb noted, "and I think some people are saying you won’t be able to try him rightly because of the way you treated him.  Others say, ‘how can you treat someone like this given who we are and what we’re supposed to stand for.'”

While serving in Iraq, Manning voiced opposition to the war, and the classified materials he leaked pointed to alleged atrocities by U.S. troops.

But it is not clear at this stage how Manning’s leaks - as massive as they were - affected national security.  

The case is raising questions about whether Manning was psychologically fit to be in the army.

Former superiors describe him as an emotionally troubled individual who was confused about his gender and had trouble relating to others.  

For Korb, the case spells a need for reform in the Army’s screening process.

“From 2003 to 2007 when the war, particularly in Iraq, was so unpopular, the army had a very difficult time recruiting people," Korb explained, "so they had to lower their standards and in fact, the army gave 80,000 what they called moral waivers from 2003 to 2007. So, this is a young man who should never have been in the service.”

Pentagon officials have refrained from speaking on the case to avoid prejudicing the outcome.

The trial - if it happens - is expected to begin in about two months.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid